The Circle of Life

img_1658As the man of the house, I do get asked to do things that my fairer partner is loathe to do. I am, after all, good for something. When we were living in New York, we had a mouse problem, and it fell to me to rid our apartment of it. I dispatched it after cornering it, and then whacking it with a curtain rod after J flushed it out. It’s entrails popped over the kitchen tiles, and of course, it was my job to then clean the mess up. So it was no surprise when J pointed this mess out to me with a “OH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT!!!!!” From our kitchen window, it looked like a particularly large bird poop. 

Close up, it became apparent what it was -the remains of a rabbit snacked upon by one of the golden hawks that patrol our neighborhood. The rabbit fur was the giveaway, along with the pellets in the intestines and the grassy material in the gizzard. I first thought, is this bird poop -did a vulture poop out his dinner? But the small intestine underneath the dried pile were still pink and moist -pointing to a kill within 24 hours and undigested. I think the hawk either found road kill or took its time eating everything but the vegetables -which is what we were left with on our porch -actually more like grass and green leaf sausages.

Haruspicy was the art of reading the future by observing the entrails of sacrificed animals performed first by the Etruscans and then by their successors, the Romans. The haruspex would look at the lobulations of the liver of the sacrifice to determine the future. The hawk, of course, ate the tasty liver, and left us with only the intestines. My overall read -be grateful for your full stomach lest you be reminded with a nice meal of undercooked grass sausage.

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